Reply
Regular Contributor

Silver Sneakers being droped by AARP recommended insurer

I guess like all who have the "silver sneakers" card will become another worthless trash item.

United Health Care will discontinue your membership starting 1/1/18.

I am glad I went and purchased my own gym since but it is my guess that many others

do not have the money or the room for it like I do.

I had been using mine for treadmill and sauna during the cold times. the rest of the year i was

wlaking locally or golf course walking and swinging.

 

I think AARP might just search out another insurance company....as I might do on my own.....

19,456 Views
693
Report
Newbie

Adding my voice to those who would like AARP to address this with UnitedHealthCare (renegoiate the deal....if our president can do it, why not AARP), as losing the SS benefit would increase our household health care cost (as going to the "Y" is a part of healthcare afterall).

Regular Contributor

Something for the insurance companies to think about:  What makes them different from what would be Medicare for All?  Perks.  Medicare runs a 2% overhead expense.  Private insurance runs 12% - 18% overhead or about $500 billion in overhead.  Somewhere in that $500 billion there surely must be room for a wellness program - namely Silver Sneakers.

 

And instead of you - the insurance company and AARP - deciding which 'exciting' program to offer us - why don't you ask us what we'd prefer?  Multiple choice - apples and apples.

 

Or maybe, when the talk about Medicare for all rolls around again (and it will), we the people, might put pencil and paper to the difference between a tax to pay for it and the cost of our ever rising premiuims for ever diminishing benefits and decide we're tired of the extra $500 billion out of our pockets  I suspect taxes would be less that paying your high salaries! 

 

And shame on you for including a flyer for us, your customers, to take to our gym and promote your new side business.  We don't work for you. You're supposed to work for us!

Regular Contributor

I found the letter particulary annoying as this was framed as an opportunity.  I now take free class at the Senior Center as my instructor is Silver Sneakers certified.  With the new program I would have to join a gym which is quite expensive, also the choices in my area are limited. I have been attending this class for a long time and love it.  Once Silver Sneakers doesn't pick up the cost it will be $50 for every 8 weeks.

 

One of the gyms available is Anytime Fitness.  I once belonged to Anytime.  They will not tell you where equipment is or how to use the equipment unless you hire a $30/hr (back then) personal trainer.  I was constantly badgered to hire one as well as to purchase their weight loss drinks.  

 

That leaves me with a choice of one gym, since the insurance is only picking up half that should be $250.  

 

No thanks to the "opportunity".

Regular Contributor

Since posting my opinion I have done a little research on line and thus far I have found no other companies that just offer supplement insurance.  All the companies I find in this State offer only Medicare Advantage plans. 

 

My only other thought is you would think a health insurers would want its subscribers to participate in a healthy lifestyle.  The reverse is true, you would think they would want to keep those of us that do.  Don't they make more money if people are healthy and make less claims?

Periodic Contributor

If AARP is our representative in this matter, they should either demand that United Health Care include the Silver Sneakers Program for 2019 or endorse a plan that does.

 

I am really afraid that the line between UHC and AARP is so blurred and so much money flows between the two that AARP is no longer our representative. 

 

That is pretty sad.

Periodic Contributor

I am living in Illinois and have been going to the Gottlieb Center for Fitness in Melrose Park.  The Silver Sneakers classes are so full that sometimes not everyone can get to a chair.  There are also a lot of seniors who are not in the class but who use the gym for the aqua classes and the different machines.

Everyone in the class has a smile on his or her face when leaving class..  In addition to the exercise we enjoy the camaradie with each other. 

 

If AARP and United Healthcare drop Silver Sneakers, Gottlieb Center for Fitness will be a ghost town in the mornings.

 

A lot of seniors can't afford a gym membership even at a discount.  Also, the classes teach fall prevention and balance.  If Silver Sneakers is dropped, a lot of people may end up in the hospital.

Newbie

I suspect that United Health Care's traditional Medigap insurance is being down graded so that people will be motivated to switch to United Health Care's Medicare Advantage insurance which often publicizes the Untied Health Care Advantage Optum  services. Optum pays for a lot of gym memberships, classes. United Health Care is probably doing this because the Federal Medicare payments to Advantage plans gives the insurance companies more profit than the Federal payments to traditional Medicare insurance plans. As they say, always look for the money trail.

 

Regular Contributor

The huge problem as I see it is that under the advantage plans you are allowing decisions to be made for you as to hospitals and doctors that are available for you to use. Today it may look look like you are getting alot for a little however down the road they can start trimming the benefits back such as they did with the Silver Sneaker program. Caveat emptor....buyer beware.

Honored Social Butterfly


@so8714 wrote:

The huge problem as I see it is that under the advantage plans you are allowing decisions to be made for you as to hospitals and doctors that are available for you to use. Today it may look look like you are getting alot for a little however down the road they can start trimming the benefits back such as they did with the Silver Sneaker program. Caveat emptor....buyer beware.


All plans, whether medigap or advantage, are subject to change. Everyone should check their plan updates every year, and make adjustments if needed. You can't just set it and forget it. Be sure to check for changes in your drug coverage and copays, whether it's traditional Part D or advantage Part D.

 

While Silver Sneakers, and other perks are nice to have, a change to copays or drug coverage could be the real deal breaker. 

"Music can change the world because it can change people." - Bono
0 Kudos
2,591 Views
1
Report
Honored Social Butterfly


@MaVolta wrote:


 


All plans, whether medigap or advantage, are subject to change. Everyone should check their plan updates every year, and make adjustments if needed. You can't just set it and forget it. Be sure to check for changes in your drug coverage and copays, whether it's traditional Part D or advantage Part D.

 

While Silver Sneakers, and other perks are nice to have, a change to copays or drug coverage could be the real deal breaker. 




 


Medigap plans DO NOT change every year - actually never unless a change is made to traditional Medicare.  Medigap plans are only supplemental plans - they supplement traditional Medicare - they are GAP insurance - Medicare makes the rules of coverage.

 

I have often wondered why some Medigap plans have offered this extra benefit of Silver Sneakers or any other extra type benefit because these are just that - extra - Medicare does not consider this to be medically necessary and thus it is not part of Medicare.  Perhaps a special guaranteed issue condition may apply - that will have to be determined by (any) new Medigap insurer which a beneficiary may pick as a new insurer of this gap insurance.

 

I do hope people who are considering changing their Medigap plan because of this Silver Sneakers elimination will know what they are doing or work with an independent Medicare insurance agent or a knowledgeable SHIP agent so that they are protected - if they can be protected.

 

Medigap plans DO NOT have an annual renewal.  Medigap plans are guaranteed renewable as long as you pay your premiums.

 

BTW - wonder if any of the affected beneficiaries have filed a Complaint with Medicare ?    It may not be of help to you but could knock UHC down a few star ratings. 

 

Another thing which could be considered is that any of these Medigap insurers could do the same thing because this Silver Sneaker program is an extra benefit NOT one dictated by Medicare.  The Tivity Health program of Silver Sneakers now has lots of competition starting up now.

 

Medicare Supplement plans (also known as Medigap plans) are offered by private insurance companies and can help you pay for certain out-of-pocket costs not covered under Original Medicare. These out-of-pocket costs can include Medicare deductibles, coinsurance, and hospital or skilled nursing facility costs after you’ve used up your Medicare coverage. Medicare Supplement plans are only available to people who already have Medicare Part A, which helps pay for hospital services, and Part B, which helps pay for medical services. Medicare Supplement coverage only works alongside Original Medicare and can’t be used to pay for Medicare Advantage plan costs.

 

https://medicare.com/medicare-supplement/do-medicare-supplement-plans-differ-for-each-state/

 

Under federal law, you have a guaranteed issue right to buy a Medicare Supplement insurance plan (also known as MedSupp or Medigap) during the Medigap Open Enrollment Period, which begins the first month you have Medicare Part B and are age 65 or older. This means that during this six-month enrollment period, insurers cannot turn you down or charge you more because of a pre-existing health condition.

 

After the Medigap Open Enrollment Period, insurers can refuse to sell you a Medigap policy, delay coverage, or charge you a higher premium because of an existing health condition. The insurance company may also ask you to submit to a medical underwriting process and deny you coverage or charge you a higher rate based on its findings*.

 

There are some exceptions to the rule, however. In some situations, you have the guaranteed-issue right to buy a Medicare Supplement policy outside of your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period:

  • You have a Medicare Advantage plan, and the insurance company has left your service area.
  • Your Medicare Advantage plan has been discontinued or is leaving Medicare.
  • You have moved out of your Medicare Advantage plan’s service area.
  • You currently have Original Medicare, and your employer coverage is ending.
  • You have Original Medicare coverage and a Medicare SELECT plan, and you move out of the Medicare SELECT plan’s service area.
  • You lose your Medicare Supplement insurance plan because the insurance company went bankrupt.
  • You end your Medigap coverage because the insurance company misled you or was not compliant with the law.

You may qualify for guaranteed issue into a Medicare Supplement insurance plan, regardless of your medical history, if you meet certain criteria such as applying during your Medicare Supplement Open Enrollment Period. Additional guaranteed issues rights may be available and are dependent on your state of residence.

 ( like the "birthday rule" in California)

 

*Pre-existing conditions are generally health conditions that existed before the start of a policy. They may limit coverage, be excluded from coverage, or even prevent you from being approved for a policy; however, the exact definition and relevant limitations or exclusions of coverage will vary with each plan, so check a specific plan’s official plan documents to understand how that plan handles pre-existing conditions.

 

https://www.ehealthmedicare.com/medicare-supplement-articles/changing-medicare-supplement-insurance-...

You are right in that other things need to be considered when making a change but Medigap plans DO NOT have networks of providers like Medicare Advantage plans - Medigap plans cover providers on the Medicare list of providers that accept assignment - IF Medicare pays their part, your Medigap plan pays their part.  Medigap plans do not have any drug coverage attached to them - you have to have a freestanding PDP if you use a Medigap plan.

 

 

 

0 Kudos
2,736 Views
0
Report
Contributor

As if healthcare costs for seniors aren't high enough, UHC decides to stick it to us, again. 

Got to re-think who my insurer will be next year. AARP - you have to stick up for us! 

Periodic Contributor

I feel it's time for AARP to stop endorsing UHC. This not the first time UHC reduced benefits and eliminated doctors. I also will be looking for a plan to replace UHC and probably no longer support AARP.

Regular Contributor

I received the same letter.  Very disappointed.  Raising premiums and dropping services but they assure us they are continuing to work for us to lower healthcare costs.  Yeah, right!  

 

We will I’ll also look into alternative plans. 

Periodic Contributor

Here is a letter I wrote to AARP corporate headquarters today regarding this outrageous new policy:

 

AARP

601 E St. Nw

Washington, DC 20049

  

October 2, 1918

 

Dear AARP,

 

My husband and I are both long-time AARP members. We have been members of the AARP United Healthcare supplemental plan for years now. We are both outraged (and I hope you will be too) by the fact that your recommended health plan will no longer have the Silver Sneakers plan in Arizona, and that we would be forced to pay 50 percent of a normal monthly gym fee to keep our health.

            We were under the impression that you understood that keeping fit is one of the finest and most invaluable ways to keep healthy, and that exercise is paramount to this. Perhaps you have changed your mind on this issue?

            We were also outraged by the presentation of this news, by announcing proudly in your letter: What’s new? More services and a dedicated team to work with you ! And then the letter goes on to say no more Silver Sneakers as a part of their offerings! Is this your idea of more services??? There are more services, yes, but it will now cost us seniors. Many many of these seniors will simply opt out of going to a gym if they are forced to pay for it, and their health will suffer. Is this a good thing?

            Well I would like my dedicated “team” to have a few words with United Healthcare and ensure that the millions of Americans who take advantage of Silver Sneakers will be able to continue this under your aegis.

 

Thanks you for your attention in this matter,

 

 

 

 

encl: September 21, 2018 letter from AARP

Newbie

Californians get no help with the bill. Why were we excluded?
0 Kudos
2,745 Views
0
Report
Contributor

I share your opinions about the dropping of Silver Sneakers from our United Healthcare supplemental plan. I was very disappointed to receive the letter informing us of this new policy beginning in January 2019. We will definitely be checking into alternate supplemental insurance options offered through other companies.
Contributor

Just signed up for Siver Sneakers last week. Had a good monthly rate that I should have kept because I will not get a price that good again! Thanks for screwing me United Healthcare!

Periodic Contributor

PROBABLY JUST A COINCIDENCE?  BUT, SINCE I HAVE BEEN RESPONDING TO THIS THREAD I HAVE BEEN RECEIVING EXTRA SPAM EMAIL.  ANYONE ELSE?

Periodic Contributor

If United Health Care drops SilverSneakers, I will drop AARP United HealthCare for 2019. 

Periodic Contributor

I just got the letter regarding this subject.  Once I learned about Silver Sneakers, I joined a gym and have been working out three times a week for the past year.  I have lost 10 pounds, 17 inches overall, brought my blood pressure down and feel a heck of a lot better.  My BMI is now under 30.  In that same time period, I have gone to the doctor once, for the annual checkup. 

 

I certainly hope that when they take this benefit away they will also cut the cost of the monthly premium.  If not, I most certainly am going to shop for a plan that includes Silver Sneakers.  50% of what the gyms in my area charge is unaffordable to me, especially with everything else going up. 

 

Bad decision.  Shame on you, United Healthcare and especially AARP.

Periodic Contributor

Our only options here in Arizona are to drive 20 miles to the YMCA and get in line with all the College Students waiting to use the equipment. AARP and United Healthcare have really make an unnecessary and unfortunate decision on dropping the Silver Sneakers plan in lieu of a totally worthless program. My Wife and I will be changing to Cigna next year.
0
Kudos
6363
Views
Newbie

AARP dropping Silver Sneakers for 2019 is probable the biggest health risk I will face in 2019.  I have been doing Silver Sneakers multiple times a week for years, and my health reflects it.  I am 75 and in good health and I think one of the major contributing factors is the Sliver Sneakers program.  I believe the ineffective alternative to SS that AARP is going to offer is a discount on selected gym memberships.  I believer this alternative is inferior option will not work for multiple reasons: 1) Most gyms in my area including LA Fitness only offer SS programs twice a week (Most people should try ot get in 3 workouts a week); 2) With schueduling conflicts, I find I need to tyupically go to multiple gyms to get in 3 workouts aweek; 3) With a general gym membership and other types of workouts and I found I would typically have had more injuries as I aged.  I have never had an injury problem with the SS program, becaused is it specifically designed for seniors; and 4) With SS classes I have developed friendships and that encourgages me to work out more offen and preventss me form becoming discouraged adn isolated.

 

If AARP is truely interest in the health of their members, they should immeditately require United Health Care to restore SS as part of the Medicare insuranece coverage programs or provide an option where members could contract directly with SS to get coverage.  In not, AARP should find another insurance provider who will provide SS coverage for 2020.  In neither of those 2 actions are are presented during this enrollment period, I would suggest that everyone who is interested in SS benefits, contact a qualified local insurance specialist to have them determine what other insurance option are avaialble for 2019 that include SS coverage and consider switching away from United Health Care.  Also if AARP does not address this issue, we should all consider not renewing our AARP membership

 

Thanks

Regular Contributor

This is for those in California.  Humana Connect Plan F is $11 more a month than the AARP UHC plan and it includes Silver Sneakers. All other coverage is the same.

 

I haven't yet found out what the monthly 'discounted' gym cost will be but I suspect it will be in excess of $11/mo.

 

I have an appointment on 22 Oct for enrollment in a new plan.  I hope to hear that AARP has reconsidered its stand on this issue.  I can tell you that the people my husband and I deal with to get our policies ( a huge nationwide company) has told us its phones are ringning off the hook over this change of policy.  They are getting slammed with phone calls and everyone they talk with is really angry and disappointed in AARP.

 

AARP you need to reverse this decision!  Now!

Regular Contributor

it will be when you figure out UHC prices will go up too, next year. my guess about the 2nd month.

Contributor

Roxanne,

I'm also in California and a member of 24-Hour Fitness. It would cost me an additional $23 per month or $276 per year.  One additional fact is that they use the "Super Sport " gym rate and not open to any lesser rate, say on the "Sport" rate.  Regardless, this is BS, and we should be ringing their phones off the hook.  This is one of the prime reasons that I went with AARP United. Anyone, what are the other insurance options that carry this program? 

Periodic Contributor

Here in Flagstaff Az with the new “Bogus” plan AARP/UHC are offering us both my Wife and I would be required to pay 50% each for a membership. That comes out to 100% family membership cost and around $60/moth. AARP and UHC really don’t seem to be attentative to it’s customers.
Honored Social Butterfly

@sa6024

 

You can look up your state here (drop down box - I pjut in CA) and it should give you a list of Medicare plans in your state that CURRENTLY covers the Silver Sneakers program.   

 

If you find one or more that you are considering - make sure that it isn't changing in 2019 or anytime soon because it is up to the Medicare plan insurer to keep their deal, whatever that may be, going with Tivity Health Silver Sneakers program.

 

If you have a Medigap plan now that you want to change - don't forget about the California "Birthday Rule" - I just made a thread on it on this board.

 

 

 

 

Regular Contributor

Yeah, I'm in California and  my birthday is in August.  Unfortunately, AARP/UHC was not transparent to me at that time and I had no idea they were taking away my Silver Sneakers benefit.  A  lie of omission?

0 Kudos
2,761 Views
1
Report
Contributor

I live in CA and have Blue Shield of CA. Still have Siver Sneakers!

3
Kudos
16838
Views
Periodic Contributor

JUST AN FYI.  I just called  Humana and Blue Cross.  Both offer Silver Sneakers  in NC for the 2019 year.  But, premiums for myself and my wife will be over $100.00 more each month even with a 5% auto pay discount.